Book Review: Haiku Knits

January 24th, 2010 | View Comments

Cover of Haiku Knits

Author: Tanya Alpert
Publisher: Potter Craft
Rating: 4 Skeins

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What can I say? I’m a sucker for elegant Asian-inspired designs. Growing up, “Asian-inspired” too often meant cheesy red and gold adorned with dragons, bamboo, or farmers in conical hats. Asian influences have become more widespread since I was a kid in Wisconsin, but I still get a thrill out of seeing Asian-inspired designs that are beautiful.

This book features 25 total patterns. Over half of these patterns are sweaters, vests, and summer tops. Most of the remaining patterns are scarves and wraps, with one hat and one skirt pattern to round out the collection.

The patterns in this book come in a very small range of sizes; most patterns only have Small (34-36″ bust), Medium, and Large (40-42″ bust). A number of the patterns are simple enough to scale easily, but I would hesitate to recommend this book for knitters who fall outside of the prescribed size range as the scarf patterns alone would not induce me to buy this book. However, if you do fall in the prescribed size range, there are some stunning sweaters to choose from.

Pick of the Projects:

The cover sweater would have made this list, except that you already know what it looks like. :)

Snowflake from Haiku Knits Snowflake (Easy). This sweater is a beautiful example of fashion as art. The actual knitting is simple, requiring only a bit of stockinette, ribbing, and a basic lace stitch; all the magic is in the construction of the garment. The sizing is given as “one size fits most” but it probably looks best the way it’s pictured: hanging on a small frame with lots of positive ease.

Cocoon from Haiku Knits Cocoon (Intermediate). Unlike the previous selection, this is a fabulous everyday-wear sweater. The picture to the left doesn’t really do justice to the cable’s subtle twists and turns. This pattern is written only for bust sizes 34″-40″, but the construction is simple enough that a moderately-experienced knitter could size it up or down.

Long Night from Haiku Knits Long Night (Intermediate to Advanced). The book calls this a capelet, but it really is more a shrug or a flyaway cardigan. The showstopper part of this sweater is the exaggerated sleeve, the construction of which I can only describe as Norah Gaughan-esque. One of the recommended yarns (the sweater is knit with two yarns held together), Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, lends a little sparkle. Unfortunately this pattern only comes in two sizes, Small (32-36″ bust) and Medium (38-42″ bust), and sizing it up farther will require some significant effort.

The review copy of this book was provided by Potter Craft.

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CogKnition posted this on January 24th, 2010 @ 8:19pm in Book Reviews | Permalink to "Haiku Knits"

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